Tanker drivers agree to vacate Apapa roads within 48 hours

The tankers would be moved to trailer parks around Lagos.

The drivers of articulated vehicles parking indiscriminately on Apapa roads, as well as the Apapa/Oshodi expressway, on Thursday agreed to vacate the roads within 48 hours.

The drivers consented to the agreement at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, at Apapa.

They agreed at the meeting to relocate their trucks to the various trailer parks in and around Lagos.

The articulated vehicle drivers further resolved to return to the ports from the various loading bays, whenever it was their turn to load.

The stakeholders agreed to reorganise the loading bays and tank farms and regulate them in a more orderly manner.

The Federal Government also addressed the problem of bad roads raised at the meeting by
directing the trucks to vacate the highway for repair work to commence.

Franco Borini of Borini Prono and Co. (Nig) Ltd, contractors handling the rehabilitation and
reconstruction of Section One of the highway, said the company would immediately move to site.

Some of the stakeholders lauded the understanding reached at the meeting, which they agreed would solve the problem of gridlock in the area.

The Special Assistant to the President on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Sylvester Monye, said that the problem was complex and had been addressed.

“Apapa has become a ‘no go’ area. The road between Apapa and Mile 2 is a ‘no go’ area. The roads have failed, trucks are tumbling and the President asked me to come to Lagos and speak with the relevant stakeholders and get the problem solved, without delay. What we have achieved with this meeting is that the Petroleum Tankers Drivers Association has agreed to take their trucks off the roads within 48 hours. The trailers picking cargoes from the port have also agreed to remove their vehicles from the roads. We have to get the trucks out of the roads so that the contractor can go back to site,” he said.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, said the problem was caused by bad roads and the tank farms. He said that the ports generated the largest funds for the Nigerian Government and that the government had a duty not to endanger the lives of residents of the state.

The Acting Chairman (South-West), Federal Road Committee on Surveillance and Action Against Road Abuse, FERCSARA, Kehinde Afolabi, said that there was need to sustain the campaign against road abuses, to nip the problem in the bud.

“The meeting was a laudable one because all the stakeholders were present and a lot of issues on our roads were raised, including road abuse. We were able to agree that if we continue to hold one stakeholder to ransom, there would not be a way forward. We realised that it is important that we go back to the drawing board and tackle the problem religiously
without blaming any party. FERCSARA’s job is to ensure the roads are in good condition and we are working to ensure that while we continue the campaign against road abuse,” he said.

However, the President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Remi Ogungbemi, declined comment on the issue.

“I prefer to remain mum for now because there is so much politics involved but my men would move their trucks out of the roads,” he said.

Present at the meeting were officers of the Federal Ministry of Works, FERMA, the Maritime Industry, the transport owners, transport unions, the Lagos State Government and the PPMC, among others.

(NAN)


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